Posts Tagged ‘fuel efficiency’

Hypermiling Race Car Gets 2,564.8 MPG

22/04/2011 Comments off


At the Shell Eco-marathon, a race of fuel efficiency, the team from Université Laval in Quebec took top honors with a race car that squeezed out an amazing 2,564.8 mpg.

At the Eco-marathon, speed and performance aren’t important, but going as far as possible on a single gallon of gasoline is.  The winning team has held top honors for three years in a row with their Alerion Supermileage three-wheeled, one-person vehicle.

The Alerion looks like it belongs on a monorail track.  It consists of a carbon fiber frame designed to put aerodynamics first and it only comes up to about knee-high from the ground.

While such a design is completely impractical in real-world situations, this team could teach the major automakers a thing or two about maximizing aerodynamics and efficiency.  After all, the second place finishers were 766.1 miles behind them.

via Wired Read more…

Aerodynamic Trucks Save Fuel and Money

09/04/2011 1 comment


As gas prices rise, more attention is again being paid to making transport trucks more fuel efficient. New trucks with hybrid or electric drive may be an option. For existing fleets, however, the quickest payback probably comes from making the vehicles more aerodynamic.

Most trailer trucks have tall, squared-off ends which produce a lot of drag and make the truck less efficient. Manufacturer ATDynamics is now producing an origami-like product called TrailerTail that can be attached to the trailer in order to improve fuel efficiency and economy. “TrailerTail delivers 6.6% fuel savings at 65 mph according to SAE type II J1321 third-party tests and is compatible with all major dry van and refrigerated trailer configurations.” ATDynamics has several components that can improve the aerodynamic efficiency of tractor-trailer trucks.

Ideas like this have been explored in recent years with university research and studies at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. These products are now becoming commercially available, and will likely be seen more often in the coming years.


Toyota Sells One Millionth Prius in U.S.

06/04/2011 2 comments


The Toyota Prius has hit a major milestone:  there are now 1 million of them on U.S. roads.  But it’s not just popular in the U.S.  As of a month ago, the hybrid has surpassed 3 million sales worldwide.

More than 97 percent of Priuses sold since the car’s debut 11 years ago are still on the road, confirming two things that were unsure back in 2000 — that millions of people would want to buy a hybrid electric vehicle and that the vehicle would be just as durable and reliable as a conventional car over a decade later.

That’s great news for all the electric car launches happening now and in the near future.  What may seem like a vehicle only coveted by a small percentage of people now, could have millions and millions of drivers in just a decade.  And the benefits will be measurable:  since 2000, the Prius has saved 881 million gallons of gas and 12.4 million tons of CO2 emissions.

via USA Today

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Europe to promote greener transport through eco-driving

09/09/2010 Comments off

The European Union provided a 13.7 million euro ($16.79 million) grant for a three-year research program that aims to develop and evaluate green transport technologies and applications which will deliver up to 20 percent carbon dioxide emissions reductions.

The eCoMove project aims to integrate the concept of eco-driving with eco-traffic management to help a particular vehicle achieve the theoretical least possible fuel consumption in any given trip, without compromising the quality of mobility of people and goods.

“In reality today, vehicles, drivers and traffic management systems fall short of this ideal, and much fuel is wasted leading to unnecessary [carbon dioxide] emission,” said Jean Charles Pandazis, coordinator of the project.

Road transport alone is responsible for about 70 percent of all transport greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn account for around 20 percent of global emissions. The eCoMove project intends to lessen the sector’s emissions by focusing on two main sources of avoidable fuel consumption: private vehicles and freight vehicles.

The project will apply cooperative information and communication technologies to provide real-time information. It will use vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to integrate systems that will support eco-driving with eco-traffic management.

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Auto executives are more concerned over hybrids

05/09/2010 Comments off

The logo of KPMG.

Image via Wikipedia

Hybrid vehicles and underlying technologies seems to be the top concerns of automotive executives for the next five years, KPMG’s annual survey shows.

KPMG, which has been surveying global automotive industry executives for the past 10 years, said this was brought by consumer concern with fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency, which has to do with how much gas a vehicle consumes for every mile, was also the most frequently mentioned factor that would affect consumer purchase decisions over the next five years.

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Fuel Efficiency Classification: new window labels may come on for all cars

31/08/2010 1 comment

The federal government has unveiled its proposal for the most significant overhaul of cars’ fuel economy labels in 30 years. The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation have put together two options for window stickers in new vehicles starting with 2012 model year, including one label with a letter grade system ranging from A+ to D based on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy.

The system, which is still a work in progress and open to public comment, would give high marks to plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and could affect how car shoppers perceive the relative costs and benefits of different technologies and models for years to come. “American consumers are quickly accepting advanced technology vehicles,” said National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland in a call with reporters today. “Old petroleum-centric labels just aren’t good enough anymore.”

According to the proposed rule making and federal officials who spoke with reporters today, electric vehicles would typically earn the A+ grade, while plug-in hybrids would generally fall into the A category and hybrids like the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid would earn an A-. Upcoming models like the electric Nissan LEAF and extended-range electric Chevy Volt from General Motors have yet to be certified by the EPA, said EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy, so she could not give a sense of what grade they would get under the proposed rating system.

Applied to 2010 model year vehicles, high performance cars like the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti and Mercedes-Benz Maybach 57 would bring up the rear with D+ and D letter grades, based on more than 689 grams of CO2 emissions per mile and fuel efficiency equivalent to 13 MPG or less.

McCarthy explained that grades would be distributed across “a pretty standard bell curve,” with a B- as the median. Vehicles would be compared with all models in that year’s fleet, rather than having SUVs compete only against other SUVs, for example. There would be no failing grade, McCarthy said, because only cars that comply with the Clean Air Act can be sold.

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